Over the course of 50-minutes, the one-woman show tracks the ups and downs of this wannabe triple threat’s lifelong dream to become a Broadway star. With Atlantic-bridging vignettes a la Song and Dance, sans love situations, Phillips recreates the journey that started in childhood but comes to an abrupt halt as she’s about to reach for the golden ring.
More precisely, at the end of her studies at a prestigious drama school in England, and just as she’s preparing to nail a role in Cabaret, Phillips is hit by a car. Her ankle, and ultimately her life and dreams, seem irrevocably smashed.
“Breaking Velocity is about… heading really fast in one direction when something else intervenes and there’s a huge shift. Whether that’s a physical accident or an emotional break-up or a death, it’s a really universal theme,” says Phillips in a press release.
I couldn’t agree more. Most of the audience most likely noted aha moments they could relate to. Packing your bags and finally setting out on the path you’ve always wanted to follow; experiencing a life event that makes you think life’s not worth living; circling amongst people completely out of touch with who you are.
But if we’re fortunate like Phillips, we’re able to use art to explore our experiences, heal and make ourselves whole again.
Clearly the actress has come a long way since her 2006 accident, and has a beautiful voice and personable acting style.
In some of the most compelling, albeit too-short scenes, Phillips steps out of her own persona to play other heavily-accented Brits, including a paramedic and a drama teacher. With more of that distance from the personally painful, Breaking Velocity might prove to be even more painfully real for the rest of us.
As it was, I had the feeling I had stepped into Phillips’ living room, and was watching a performance that was making out as if it had made it, well, all the way.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. “Growth can come from destruction” is, after all, the play’s tagline.
The connection to the hit Broadway musical also brought a wonderful understanding to the title of her play. It’ll be interesting to see what Phillips does next.
- Breaking Velocity plays at the The Solo Room, 30 Bridgman Avenue
- Performances: July 04 08:15 PM, July 06 10:00 PM, July 07 08:30 PM, July 09 07:30 PM, July 10 06:45 PM, July 12 09:45 PM, July 13 05:15 PM, July 15 05:45 PM
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only).
- Advance tickets ($11 including service charge) are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, or in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street.
- Value packs are available for anyone planning to see at least 5 shows.